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Do You Become The Pursuer When Someone Withdraws?

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Relationship issues

Do You Become The Pursuer When Someone Withdraws?

The Pursuer/Distancer Relationship

Do you find you become the pursuer – chasing after someone when he or she withdraws from you? How do you feel when you do this, and what is generally the result?

A member of our website asked this question in our advice section:

I’ve read several of the articles on the site, but have not seen anything mentioned about “chasing” after someone who is pulling away in a relationship. That has to be a form of protection against deeper feelings, though, right? If someone is pulling away and the urge to chase after them comes up, what is the best thing to do in this situation? Thanks!

I know exactly what this woman is going through, as I used to go through the same thing. When a man I felt connected to would withdraw, shut down, or pull away in any way, I would feel a sense of panic. In my panic, I would convince myself that by being a certain way – attractive enough, sexy enough, nice enough, right enough, or convincing enough – I could get him to reconnect with me.

Now I know that the panic over another disconnecting from me was coming from my own disconnection from myself.

I used to disconnect from myself right at the beginning of a relationship, making his feelings more important than my own. I would put my own feelings – my inner child – in a closet, and instead take care of his inner child. My hope was that if he felt loved enough by me, he would take my inner child out of the closet and love her. I was abandoning myself by caretaking him, hoping to get the love from him that I had no idea how to give to myself.

Because I didn’t know how to love myself, I was emotionally dependent on my guy to feel lovable and worthy. Hence, the panic when he would leave – taking my whole sense of self-worth with him.

The question asked is: What is the best thing to do in this situation?

The Best Thing to Do

The best thing is to let go and take loving care of yourself. But this is easier said than done.

There are a number of things I had to learn before I could do the best thing for myself:

  • I had to accept that I had no control over how he felt about me, no matter how much I chased him, or how wonderful I tried to be. I recently read this on another site (http://stepperswisdom.blogspot.com/):

Codependent’s Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,

the courage to change the one I can,

and the wisdom to know it’s me.

~Author Unknown

  • I had to learn how to take 100% responsibility for my own feelings of worth and safety, joy and pain. And before I could learn this, I had to accept that my feelings were, in fact, my responsibility and not someone else’s. I had to accept that I was the cause of my anxiety, depression, panic, guilt, anger and shame, and that I had to learn to manage the core painful feelings of life – loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others.
  • I had to establish a strong connection with my personal source of spiritual guidance in order to access the love that my inner child needed. As long as I was making a man my source of love, I was emotionally dependent, continued to panic, and continued to chase when he withdrew.

This pattern continued with my ex-husband for the first 20 years of our marriage. He would withdraw and I would chase, desperate to not feel the loneliness and heartache of his disconnection from me. Then, thankfully, Spirit brought us Inner Bonding and I learned how to be loving to myself. This has made all the difference.

[Margaret Paul Relationship Toolbox]

 

CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDING

Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages.

Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967.

Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world — mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public.

Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships.

In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.

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